Two days ago, Correa brought an end to the state of emergency he declared on Nov. 29 in the province of Orrelana, agreeing with human rights organizations and regional leaders to investigate charges of human rights abuse that occurred while the emergency was in effect.
Correa had called the state of emergency after people from Dayuma started taking over oil wells and cutting communication lines on November 26. Before this, the protesters were peacefully calling for the government to spend more revenue from oil on infrastructure (roads and electricity lines), and to be given more job opportunities. Clearly, they were tired of the avoidance and non-action on part of the government and the oil company.
Unfortunately, they didn’t get the response they were hoping for. Correa–knowing full well that Ecuador was just days away from returning to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)– called them a bunch of “lunatics” and “crazy people” who are harming “the interests of 13 million Ecuadoreans” and must be brought to justice. He put a curfew in effect, banned protests and public meetings, and then sent in the military. Some 140 people were arrested at the protest, many (if not all) were charged with sedition.
Then, according to the Mayor of the Orellana, the military began raiding homes, assaulting, beating and arresting people throughout the province. Apparently, many were imprisoned on the premises of the state oil company, which by the way, came under military control shortly after the declaration. Others just disappeared.
Correa then picked up the rhetoric, calling the lunatics: terrorists, extortionists, foreigners, romantic environmentalists, and “childish leftists who want to destabilise the government.”
Whoops, there it is
Some of these words should sound familiar to you. In October we looked at the propaganda campaign against Mining Watch Canada…
Mining watch, foreign environmentalists, are currently blamed for supporting ‘the Economic, Cultural and Social Genocide of the Shuar;’ and of helping to keep ‘the Indigenous People of the Amazon in Poverty.’
It’s pure supposition of course, but one can’t help but notice the common thread here. Both claim outside forces are manipulating the people for their own selfish interests, both insist no rational-thinking person could ever be opposed to development, and both claim the locals can’t possibly be thinking for themselves when they talk about those strange things called facts and rights and equality. No, no, no they must be terrorists, they must want to throw down the government and destroy civilization.
That’s the only reason they would say no, right? And it’s a woman’s fault for getting beaten and raped .
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